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CFL Preview - Calgary (1-1) at Montreal (1-1)



From The Sports Network

By Gregg Xenakes, CFL Editor

DATE & TIME: Thursday, July 12, 7:30 p.m. (et).

GAME NOTES: It was touch-and-go there for a bit, but it now appears as though Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo is planning to start for the Alouettes on Thursday night as they host the Calgary Stampeders at Stade Percival-Molson Stadium.

Calvillo, who underwent an MRI on Monday for a shoulder injury suffered against Winnipeg last Friday, was quoted as saying he was feeling good and planned to play in the second game in the first three weeks of the campaign against the Stampeders.

The all-time leader in passing yards in professional football, Calvillo practiced on Tuesday but it was backup Adrian McPherson who took the snaps with the first team, possibly as a precaution.

Calvillo clearly isn't getting any younger and defenses are beginning to hit him more and more in his latter years. That was the case last week as the aging veteran out of Utah State matched wits with Winnipeg in the home opener and won, even though he was taken out of the game at one stage because of his injury.

Converting a stellar 10-of-11 passes for 205 yards in the first quarter alone, Calvillo finished the meeting 31-of-39 for 443 yards and three touchdowns. It was the 29th 400-yard game of Calvillo's career and perhaps even more remarkable was the fact that he wasn't sacked and did not throw a single interception.

Giving Calvillo reason to feel comfortable out on the field was running back Brandon Whitaker who not only carried the ball 16 times for 98 yards and a score, he also reeled in 11 catches for a game-high 137 yards and two majors as he was named the CFL Offensive Player of the Week. S.J. Green helped to stretch the field with five catches for another 120 yards as well.

As for the Stampeders, they lead the league in scoring with 74 points through the first two weeks, and yet the team is just 1-1 after bowing to Toronto on the road in a 39-36 final that was decided in the closing moments on a field goal by the Argonauts.

Calgary was at a disadvantage for much of the meeting after starting quarterback Drew Tate exited early with an injury. Kevin Glenn stepped in to rescue the Stamps and nearly pulled it off as he threw for 172 yards and a couple of touchdowns, but he also tossed a pair of interceptions.

Eric Fraser put a face on the Calgary defense as he returned an interception 61 yards for a major in the first quarter, giving the visitors a 14-7 advantage after one period of play. Unfortunately, the Stamps scored just seven points over the course of the second and third frames before exploding for 15 in the fourth.

Also making a name for himself was returner Larry Taylor who not only returned a missed field goal a whopping 125 yards for a touchdown (the third-longest missed-field goal return in club history), he amassed a total of 441 all- purpose yards which is the second-highest single-game total in league history. As if there was any doubt of his dominance during the second week of the season, Taylor was named the CFL Special Teams Player of the Week.

All indications have Glenn stepping in as the starter for this week's game which shouldn't be that much of a surprise given that he threw for 3,963 yards a season ago, his seventh consecutive campaign with at least 3,000 yards through the air. Glenn will certainly lean heavily on slotbacks Nik Lewis and Marquay McDaniel, the former leading the team in each of the first two games in receiving and ranks second in the league with 19 catches for 200 yards and three majors.

Calgary won the first game between these teams just 11 days ago with a resounding 38-10 final at home. In that contest Calvillo was limited to just 174 yards and one TD through the air and was intercepted two times. The Stamps controlled the action for more than 35 minutes and generated 465 yards of total offense, more than twice the 213 yards logged by the Als.

As far as the all-time, regular-season series between these two clubs is concerned, the Stamps own a slight 33-31-1 advantage over Montreal going back to 1946. Calgary has won three in a row and four of the last five matchups overall.

Montreal has been doing its best work at home over the last three seasons with a record of 22-5 in front of a favorable crowd.

Calvillo may not be 100 percent for this outing, but he still has a commanding presence on the field that forces defenses to scheme for his every move. As long as the famed signal-caller can remain out of harm's way, figure on the Als landing in the win column with revenge as a motivating factor.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Montreal 36, Calgary 27

07/11 11:26:53 ET

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